JIS News

WASHINGTON — Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, and Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, have singled out the Washington-based Jamaica Women of Washington (JWoW) for its continued support for health and education in Jamaica.

In his message to mark JWoW’s Ninth Annual Tea Off to Good Health and Silent Auction, at the Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C., this week, Mr. Golding said that JWoW represented a group of women who share a common bond of love and dedication to Jamaica and its people.

He said that the organization stood out as a sterling example of loyalty and service to Jamaica which is worthy of emulation by other Jamaicans. JWoW has remained steadfast and unwavering in its commitment to Jamaica, in spite of the years and miles of separation, he added.

“I am encouraged by this, as our country’s sustained development does not rest soley in the hands of the Government, but relies also on the contributions of other critical stakeholders, such as members of the Diaspora,” the Prime Minister said.

He also called on all Jamaicans to make healthy lifestyle choices a way of life for themselves and their families, and to take the necessary preventive measure to stem the problems.

Delivering the main address at the function, Ambassador Marks said that JWoW continues to live up to its mandate, of raising awareness and providing support for organizations that focus on improving the health and quality of life of vulnerable groups, most notably women, children and families in underserved communities.

Ambassador Marks said that vulnerable populations in the Caribbean and Washington D.C. share many similarities, including poverty, poor education and lack of access to quality health care, which result in negative health and social outcomes. She noted that women and children, in particular, suffer disproportionately.

“I therefore hail the work of JWoW, which offers hope to many women, children and families through its various outreach programs,” the Ambassador said. She lauded the organization for “shining the spotlight” on hypertension, commonly regarded as the “silent killer.”

The Ambassador also paid tribute to founder and CEO of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates, Jeff Thompson, who is this year’s recipient of the Judith Bennett –Sattler Leadership Award.

She said that Mr. Thompson was well deserving of the award, as he has demonstrated high leadership qualities as well as a strong commitment to philanthropy, while being actively involved in community and social welfare programmes in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the greater Washington D.C. area.

President of JWoW, Dr. Jacqueline Watson, said her oganization’s mission was to provide support in improving the health and the quality of life for women, children and families in Jamaica and Washington D.C.

 She pointed out that funds raised from this year’s event will go towards purchasing blood pressure machines for the island’s public health centres. She also disclosed that, for the second year, JWoW will stage its annual Tea Off for Good Health Tournament in Montego Bay, October 7-18.

She said JWoW has contributed over J$4 million dollars to a number of charitable organizations in Jamaica.


By Derrick Scott, jiswashington@jis.gov.jm